Category Archives: 32nd Division

WWI RPPC Photo – 32nd Division, 127th Infantry Wounded Litter Bearers – Identified DSC Recipients!


It’s been months since I’ve picked up a really juicy WWI RPPC photo for my collection.  Last week I was able to win a small group of shots that looked promising.  I knew there was one shot of doughboys wearing helmets bending down on the ground.  When the photo arrived I was surprised to find that the card identified five litter bearers of  Co. F of the 127th Infantry Regiment, 32nd Division.  I quickly found that two of the identified doughboys received the Distinguished Service Cross in October of 1918 for saving wounded soldiers from the trenches during the Meuse-Argonne Offensive.  Another (second from right) is William Methier – he received the Silver Star.  I also identified two other men in the photo as being Edward Krawezyk and Albert Guernsey who both received Division Citations for their heroics.

A truly special photo with a lot of history!

Buckendahl, Emil
Private, U.S. Army
Company F, 127th Infantry Reg., 32d Div., A.E.F.
Date of Action:   October 5, 1918
Citation:
The Distinguished Service Cross is presented to Emil Buckendahl, Private, U.S. Army, for extraordinary heroism in action near Gesnes, France, October 5, 1918. Private Buckendahl, a litter bearer, on his own initiative, went out from a position of shelter to an exposed flank, under intense machine-gun fire, and carried back to safety a wounded soldier, who had been left in the field.
General Orders 66, W.D., 1919
Born:   at Pierce, Nebraska
Home Town:   Pierce, Nebraska

Curti, Mike
Private, U.S. Army
Company F, 127th Infantry Reg., 32d Div., A.E.F.
Date of Action:   October 4, 1918
Citation:
The Distinguished Service Cross is presented to Mike Curti, Private, U.S. Army, for extraordinary heroism in action near Gesnes, France, October 4, 1918. Private Curti, a litter bearer, went out alone in front of the lines several times under the severest of fire, and carried back wounded men from an exposed area, from which his company had been forced to withdraw.
General Orders 66, W.D., 1919
Born:   at Italy
Home Town:   Reno, Nebraska

William H. Methier

Silver Star Citation

Awarded for actions during the World War I

By direction of the President, under the provisions of the act of Congress approved July 9, 1918 (Bul. No. 43, W.D., 1918), Private William H. Methier (ASN: 3102759), United States Army, is cited by the Commanding General, American Expeditionary Forces, for gallantry in action and a silver star may be placed upon the ribbon of the Victory Medals awarded him. Private Methier distinguished himself by gallantry in action while serving with Company F, 127th Infantry Regiment, 32d Division, American Expeditionary Forces, in action near Tronsot Farm, France, 16 October 1918, while on duty as a litter bearer.

General Orders: GHQ, American Expeditionary Forces, Citation Orders No. 3 (June 3, 1919)

Action Date: October 16, 1918

Service: Army

Rank: Private

Company: Company F

Regiment: 127th Infantry Regiment

Division: 32d Division Expeditionary Forces

From FindaGrave.com:

Mike Curti

Emil Buckendahl's Grave

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Filed under 32nd Division, Collecting, history, Medic, photography, world war, WWI, WWI photo

WWI 26th Division / 32nd Division Mystery Photo -103rd Infantry Regiment Officer


Today’s photo post is a real head-scratcher!  I purchased the image thinking it was a nice studio portrait of a 32nd Division officer, which is evident from the SSI patch of the red arrow with a line through it.  When the photo arrived I noticed instantly that the officer was wearing the collar insignia of the 103rd Infantry Regiment of the 26th Division.  Causal readers of this blog will know that I actively seek out 26th Division photos due to my New Englander roots.

32nd Division or 26th?

Back Reads:

Selters Germany

12 January 1919

From Captain

Guy Swett (Hard to read writing)

Co. H 127th U.S Inf

32nd Div

“Army of Occupation”

Sent to a Miss Flora Murch

South Paris, ME USA

I am assuming the fellow was originally from the South Paris area in Maine, which would point towards a Yankee Division identification.  The 32nd Division was made up of guys from the Michigan area.  Looking at his other insignia also may point to his unit identity.  Is that a DSC ribbon on his chest?  It’s hard to tell, but it possibly may help in identifying the last name and original unit.

Any help from readers would be greatly appreciated!

Special thanks to our friends over at Soldier’s Mail for this wonderful interpretation!  Don’t forget to check out their website for a super collection of WWII related information. 

“After the end of hostilities with the signing of the Armistice, inducements were offered to encourage veteran combat troops to extend their enlistments and remain with the Army of Occupation in Europe rather than returning directly home on the Bridge of Ships. (Sam Avery speaks of these inducements in this letter: http://worldwar1letters.wordpress.com/2010/01/13/sarrey-france-1131919/)

After the Armistice, the 26th Division was in such bad shape from combat losses that it was assigned to the rear rather than the Army of Occupation. However, a number of its members chose to extend their deployments and were reassigned to different units in other Divisions stationed in Germany.

The officer in this photo clearly originated with the 103rd Infantry as indicated by the Regimental device on his collar. However, he is also apparently a newly-minted Captain in the 32nd Division as indicated by his sporting of the double 1st Lt bars on his shoulder along with the 32nd Division shoulder patch. I believe he was originally a 1st Lt in the 103rd Infantry, and then accepted a promotion in rank to extend his service in Army of Occupation with the 32nd Division.

Based on the writing on the reverse of this photo card, the 127th was one of the four infantry regiments in the 32nd. This man’s rank as Captain also indicates he would have been appointed the Company commander.”

Thanks again to Soldier’s Mail!

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Filed under 26th Division, 32nd Division, B/W Photo, Collecting, WWI